A line of mothers

On Mother’s Day, we celebrate the mothers in our lives, and this gives me the opportunity to show my maternal line.

It starts with my mother, Agnes Cecilia (Stariha) Miller. She was born on 11 July 1913 in a tent in a silver mine at Granby Bay, British Columbia. In this photo, she is on the left, and her mother, Frances (Cvar) Stariha, is on the right.

1942Ag Connie Grandma Stariha.jpg

The little child in the middle is me, Connie Miller. I don’t remember what I had been eating, but the stains on my fingers and face suggest it was good – probably blackberries.

Mom’s mother was Frances (Cvar) Stariha. She was born on 31 December 1873 in Vinice, Slovenia.  For all of my life, she looked like this. She wore a work cotton dress covered with a full-length apron.  I know she was once young because we have a wedding photo that was taken in Spokane, Washington, in 1906. She was a “catalog” bride. Her father traveled from Slovenia to the United States in search of husbands for his three daughters. Frances was his eldest, and he found a man who was willing to pay passage for her. He was Joseph Stariha.


I think Frances may have looked like mother Agnes when she was young. In the photo below Agnes is on the left and Grayland Miller, her new husband, is on the right.

1936Ag  Gray early years.jpg

Frances’s mother was Marija Pucelj. She was born on 29 January 1853 in Vinice, Slovenia, and she died on 22 December 1927 in Zamostec, Slovenia. (This isn’t Venice, Austria. It’s a tiny village south of Ljubljana. The nearest town of any size is Sodrazica.)

Frances married Johan Cvar, and he was the father who sought to marry off his daughters. In the photo below, Marija is in the middle, and Johan is on the right. He died in 1916; so the photo was taken before that year. Since the daughter on the left is Terezija, the middle daughter, it’s possible the photo was a companion photo to one of Frances.





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